Are you among the scores of stay-at-home moms that are asked, “What do you do all day since you don’t work” way too often? Let me tell ya, all moms work. Momlife just looks a little different for the stay-at-home mom.
If that is a resounding “yes” then you can probably relate to everything in this post. Contrary to popular belief, the life of a stay-at-home mom is anything BUT easy.
I love my life…most days at least. However, there are days that I truly wish I had a regular 9-5. I would love to “get out more” and socialize they way people think I should because, ya know, I don’t do anything all day.
Momlife is one of the greatest adventures but I think there needs to be a reality check as to what we really do all day.
A Jack of All Trades
You decided to stay-at-home with your children and with that comes the need to make a few sacrifices to offset the loss of your income. In order to continue to stay home and raise your babies you start keeping up with all the things that come with running a home.
There is the caregiving, cooking, cleaning, chauffeuring, errand running, repairs, yardwork and pet care all done while you’re toting a baby around and having someone scream your name a million times a day.
Sure, you were probably running a pretty tight ship when you were working but, from experience, you are likely doing things yourself that either your husband would have once handled or you would have hired someone to do.
Momlife is a never ending to-do list!
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Motherhood can be one of the loneliest times in a woman’s life. Oddly enough, you are never really alone physically. It is more of an emotional loneliness. When adult friendships are hard to come by and the only people you talk to are your children you start feeling a void in your life.
Humans are by nature social beings that aren’t meant to be left alone or isolated. When this happens, moms can become very depressed. I don’t think that most people realize this. My struggle with depression is directly tied to being so isolated and it really is a hard thing to overcome.
Like I mentioned above, meaningful adult friendships are pretty hard to come by. While I have a fantastic group of online friends, they aren’t a replacement for friends in real life.
When I compare my former working life to my current stay-at-home life it is apparent that I had a much better quality of social life when I was working. I had a couple of really good work friends and we would meet up and do fun stuff a couple times a month.
Getting out and meeting new people as a stay-at-home mom is tough. Other moms judge you or think you are weird for saying hello or striking up a conversation in a coffee shop.
Heck, maybe I am weird…
Momlife is Exhausting
My first point in this post covered the immense amount of things mothers do in a single day. Simply caring for our children is both physically and emotionally draining. When you add to that all the other pressures we put on ourselves (or when others put the pressure on us) to do all those other things it is completely and utterly exhausting!
It is the type of exhaustion that even a decent night’s sleep doesn’t cure…that is IF you are even getting a decent nights sleep! Even now that our children are a bit older most nights of the week someone is waking me up in the middle of the night.
I know I am not in the minority here, most moms don’t get great sleep on a regular basis. So if we are whining about being tired, you better believe we are TIRED!
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You miss having a life outside of your family
This point ties into the loneliness issue above. I have said it a hundred times and I will say it a thousand more, I love being a stay-at-home mom.
I love that I am able to be there for our children no matter what. If they get sick I don’t have call off of work and risk getting fired.
If I want to visit them at school on a random day, I can. I have the time to pursue my dreams and tinker around with hobbies (yes, in addition to doing all the other tasks).
However, I do miss the independence I had when I was working. I miss the friendships that I developed with my co-workers. Most of all, I miss feeling smart and powerful.
It is easy to forget how strong and smart you are when you’re neck deep in dirty diapers and screaming toddlers.
You forget to take care of yourself
I saved the best for last!
With all the things that we do as mothers, the number one thing we forget to do is to TAKE CARE OF OURSELVES!
Granted, this may be more of an “I’m too tired to take a long, candlelit bath after the kids go to bed” issue. The point is that mothers give and give and give without refilling their tanks quite often.
This is probably the number one mistake we make. When we take the time to refill our tanks we have more of us to give (and do it happily). When we are giving on an empty tank we tend to get annoyed easily and are more resentful of our positions in life.
Also, I don’t think other people realize how important it is for mothers to give themselves a daily break. I know I have personally heard “what do you need a break from…You don’t work! You can do anything you want!” many, many times from many different people. *sigh*
The mental health of a mother is extremely important.
I have been actively setting aside time to recharge my batteries daily ever since I decided to quit drinking and it has made a world of difference in my outlook on life. I want to encourage you to do the same!
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Ladies, I have written this post for two reasons.
The first being that I want you to know that you are not alone. All mother’s go through very similar things on a daily basis and it is comforting to know that. Secondly, I wrote this so other people in our lives can see what it is we really go through on a daily basis.
With that, I ask you to please share this with a mother that may need some validation or someone who may not totally “get” this thing called momlife.